Eastern Istanbul is now home to a new cemetery built to hold the dead bodies of dissidents who were involved in July’s failed military coup. The plot is located in the back corner of a construction site for a dog shelter.
While 290 people were reportedly killed during the uprising, 24 of the deceased were reportedly known to be coup plotters.
This Monday, a sign was raised over the cemetery’s exterior stone wall with the words “Traitors’ Cemetery” written in Turkish in white lettering.
The mayor of Istanbul, Kadir Topbas, told Dogan News Agency that officials will “reserve a spot and call it a traitors’ cemetery. Passers-by will curse them. May every passer-by curse them and let them not rest in their tombs.”
But, for the moment, the cemetery site isn’t publicly accessible and some volunteers from the animal shelter aren’t too pleased about the cemetery’s location.
Shelter volunteer Serhan Baturay told AP that, “They should have buried them somewhere far from our animals. I wish we didn’t know those traitors were here. We don’t want them.”
She continued, “They shouldn't be placed near our dogs, they shouldn't be anywhere in Turkey. They should be cremated and their ashes tossed into the ocean. There shouldn't be a trace of them anywhere in the country. As a Turkish citizen I don't want such a thing."
Baturay’s patriotism is a case in point for the millions of Turkish citizens who are angry and confused by the failed uprising which caused unnecessary deaths. Her desire to be distanced from the 16,000 who have been arrested or detained for their involvement in the military plot to overthrow the government resounds with many, regardless of their party affiliation.
Photo credit: Twitter, @Daudoo